ECONOMIC development experts have hailed a mini-boom in hotel development in Dundee, which they believe will play an important role in spurring growth in the city.

Efforts to regenerate the city's waterfront area will receive a boost with the opening of three hotels over the next two years.

Developers expect to invest around £30 million on the new hotels, in spite of the challenging economic conditions facing leisure businesses.

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The new facilities include a planned five star hotel in the listed Customs House building and a boutique Malmaison Hotel.

The new £14m Dundee Railway Station development will also include a hotel.

The city council expects the new hotels will double bedroom capacity in the Dundee Waterfront area to over 500 rooms and create more than 200 jobs.

Dundee is preparing to welcome a big influx of visitors following the opening of an outpost of the venerable Victoria and Albert Museum in the city. The museum is expected to open in 2015.

The V&A at Dundee is expected to generate 500,000 additional visitors to the city during its first year, then settling at more than 300,000 annually.

The hotels could capitalise on and help to support an increase in leisure visits to the city.

They could also encourage business visitors to the Waterfront area, which stretches along the Tay from west of the airport to east of Dundee docks.

Allan McQuade, Business Infrastructure Director for Scottish Enterprise, said: "The Dundee Waterfront Project is playing a key role helping the City of Dundee stimulate economic growth both for Tayside and the wider Scottish economy."

The Dundee Waterfront joint venture between Scottish Enterprise and Dundee City Council is expected to create 9000 jobs including many new high value service sector posts.

Around £500m of investment has been committed to date, by private and public sector organisations, towards a £1 billion target. Some £130m of capital projects will either be started or completed during this year.

New starts this year include a £30m riverside flats development by H&H Properties. Projects expected to complete include the £32m Olympia Swimming Pool.

Dundee city council is preparing tender documents that will be issued to firms interested in running the hotel in the station development.

Prestige Hotel Management has been appointed to operate the Customs House hotel by Unicorn Property Group.